Our Life 2010 (the first 6 months) ………

Welcome to our photo blog of our highs (and a few lows) in 2010!.

January 2010 started slowly and painfully on our return from a great Christmas and New year break in Brittany with the Howard’s , the Kay’s and the Hawkin’s. It had been quite a party……

January and February were much slower in Brussels, but we did manage to travel for a few snowy weekends to Holland, and perfect our cupcake skills as a family

Then there was light at the end of the tunnel, and more snow on the horizon. Our ski trip to Avoriaz at the beginning of March (which had been a Christmas present from Sjef to the whole family) meant we had to take the kids out of school (bad parents again) and head for the slopes.  The kids skiing was getting impressive (I unfortunately, could only watch from a distance as I could never catch up) but I did progress to a daily red run. Of course followed by a nice lunch somewhere on the slopes where I celebrated the fact I had survived yet another day without broken bones.  Sjef was rather surprised by the detour to Evian on the way there, it was such a brilliant hotel, but put paid to the idea that this was a budget holiday!

April brought us good times and bad.  We lost one of our beloved cats, Colbert, at only a couple of years old.  He died of some form of toxic poisoning, and we left for our Easter break in Brittany with heavy hearts, and a very sad Joseph. (not to mention the kids and us too)

Colbert and Thila 2 mths earlier

After a few melancholy days with weather to match, we couldn’t believe our eyes, when day after day, we ended up with the most memorable weather in history in Brittany.  For 14 days the sun shone and the sky was blue.  Apart from the sea temperature (but whenever has that put the Van Dongens off!) you would have believed it was summer.

We spent long days chilling, reading, eating and playing.  Mum and Dad joined us, as did Janine, Charles and George.

And after the landslide during the winter at the Hawkin’s, the big boys were glad to be able to turn their hand to drystone walling to prove their DIY capabilities once again! (while the not so little ones devoured chocolate!)

Luckily we only had to wait just over 3 weeks for our return trip to Brittany.  Mid May we headed back for one of the many long weekends we suffer in Belgium at this time, and met up with Roger and Carol at the usual rendezvous in ‘Les Boucs’.

May felt like the start of a long summer………..  and back in Belgium, we waited one more week for a trip to NL.  It was one of our last weekends in the Dutch house before renting it out and turning our focus back to Brussels.  Doug and the gang joined us, and we managed to party down at both our beloved local beach nr Breskens with it’s fab new restaurant (Puur), and at the old Riverwoods club in Knokke.

For those of you who had the pleasure to visit NL with us, you can understand the mixed feelings we had on finally finishing the project and having to give over the keys to someone else as the summer kicked in.

June brought a lot of old expat pals back to Brussels, Glennis, Niamh and Erin…. Richard, Sabine and Natasha, Sabrina, Alessia and Frederica, and Dean,….and of course the old gang came out to play!

Some from the ‘island’ too, including our old friends Simon and Diane, who arrived on the eurostar with our wedding present (nearly 8 years after the event!)

Of course this month was linked by one common, and for some countries, a very exciting event………but at the end of the day, the octopus was proved right (and the English commiserated with the Dutch!)

More from the summer coming soon in Part 2……….with love Lx

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